The Tennessee Walking Horse or Tennessee Walker is a breed of gaited horse known for its unique four-beat running-walk and flashy movement. It was originally developed in the southern United States for use on farms and plantations. This is my first Tennesse Walker portrait and I am excited to hear what my client will think of it.
As with about half of the reference photos that clients send in, this poor horse's eyes were nothing but a black hole. I added details, like a hint of lashes and some specks of color in the pupil and topped it off with highlights.
Most of the time I recommend that the bridle is left off, but in this case, I actually think it makes the painting more interesting. In a way, it frames the horse's face, because it is a complementary color of warm orange, brown, rust and even yellow tones that compliment the coat color of cooler blues, magenta and of course black.
Working with black fur or a black coat is challenging. In order to create a variation every artist trick has to employed and I love sneaking in all sorts of colors to get this accomplished.
A horse's nostrils and muzzle have a lot of hairs. In order to make the painting look natural, I dragged a few strands out. It's important not to overdo this otherwise it will look very unnatural. In the world of portrait painting, everything is subservient to what came before and these hairs are pretty much at the bottom of the ladder of importance.Well, it's time to work on another dog portrait. If you like to order a similar portrait of your horse click below for more information.